success

Time Tracking For Success.

08 07 2016

So, you might remember, I learned a little lesson a few weeks back.  I had a lightbulb moment and set new intentions.  (You can read the post here)

Yep, well, old habits die hard it would seem.

know my priorities.  Being the avid goal-setter I am, I know what tasks I should be doing to ‘move the needle’ and get me closer to them.  But knowing them and doing them are totally different.  I know to achieve the toned tummy I’m going to need to build the muscle, almost daily.  Do I do it?  Nope.

I’d like to say my new intentions slipped because of some worthy cause but, the truth is, I know it was a few bad habits to blame.  The biggest of all is procrastination. 

John C Maxwell, known as one of the greatest thought leaders in management, said “the secret of success comes down to your daily agenda.”  He believed if he were to spend 24 hours with someone, following them through their typical day, he’d be able to predict where their life was headed.    He says:

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.”

(Abs, we’re on.)

So, with that in mind, it’s time for a bit of a reality check.  If, like me, you get to the end of a day and wonder exactly what you did with your time, then this is for you.  If you’re making little (or no) progress in achieving something that’s been on your goal list forever, this is for you.  Or, if you know things are just out of balance and you’re ready to make a change, this is for you.

It’s so simple to do, but so powerful.

Record and Review.

To see where your time is going, you’re going to have to get it down on paper (or digitally, if that’s your thing).  Don’t rely on your memory.  Track it.

I’ve created a tracking tool you can download here.  The magic is in ‘coding’ your tasks into priorities.  It will give you a great picture over 24 hours (just like Sir Maxwell suggested).  My suggestion is to do it for a week to get a great record of ‘normal life’.

But… that’s ‘normal life’.  In your normal life are you achieving what your heart desires?  Are you living the life you want to?  What kind of future are your daily habits creating?

I find this is a powerful first step in making a change.  You need to know where you are, what your starting point is.  Then you’re so much clearer on what needs to change to start shifting you towards a new direction.

Download the Time Tracker For Success cheat sheet here.  And I’d love to see your results – what did you learn after day one?

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The Time Management Lesson I Learned From My Sick Bed

07 24 2016

Stuff happens, eh!  I had exciting plans for the week, and the English summer finally arrived… and then I came down with a chest infection and felt rotten.  Those sunny-day plans went out of the window.

With two little ones there are no ‘sick days’ as a buffer.  I powered on (albeit in low-gear!) taking care of the essentials – all fed, watered and entertained.  Same hours in the day but the priority was very different…

And here came my lightbulb moment.

Outside of caring for the boys, my priority was rest and repair.  I culled my planned-out week.  Tasks, chores, outings HAD to be cancelled or postponed.  Getting back on my feet was the aim of the game so (when I could) I slept, I watched movies, I ate better, I had bubble baths.  I was generally a lot kinder to myself than usual.

A typical week would have these ‘indulgent’ things way down the pecking order.  The tasks, chores, errands would come first.

But could I get the best of both?

With a bit of time management, hey?!  Or, how about this, how about a bit of purpose management. 

See, we can’t actually do anything about time.  It’s a definitive – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Always has been, always will.  (I’ve heard this so many times but it’s never quite hit home.)  So if I’m managing my purpose with the time I’ve got rather than robbing hours here and there (yet often feel I’m running half an hour late for my life!), maybe I’ll start making time for the things that count.

And yes, my own health and wellbeing count.  Yours too.  But I’d bet my bottom dollar it’s not reflected in how you currently manage your time. 

So, how about if you manage your purpose rather than your time?  What is it you’re wanting?  How do you want to live?  And love?  And feel?

If you were to take obligations out of the picture for a moment, just imagine what you would purposely choose to do with your time.

So, Sunday night is the night of my ‘weekly review’.  As I go through my usual routine (planner, calendar and a glass of wine all essential!), I’ll be looking at my week with fresh eyes.  And I encourage you to too.

Let me hear what you think.  What would this week look like if you started with purpose first?

To a week that sparkles (with purpose!), Emma x

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Get That Holiday Feeling... Without Needing To Leave The Building

06 27 2016

Back in my corporate days, I made my desk home.  I had a few subtle photos of family and friends on the backboard of my cubicle, and a happy holiday memory as my computer desktop background. 

The vast (and noisy) open plan office with sealed windows didn’t really suit my introverted work-style.  The political game too forced me into avoidance mode. In fact, truth be told, I craved quiet time, fresh air and an environment of collaboration and, sat there, I was screaming inside.  But then, one look at that holiday picture and I breathed a little calmer.

That ‘holiday feeling’ washed over me and I felt an escape.

What is that strange magic?  Can you feel it too? 

Revisit a holiday memory and you get that wash of calm and bliss and contentedness. 

“This is the life”.

The beauty is that you can go there whenever you like.  You may have heard this before – your mind knows no difference between what is real and what is imagined so you can fake that holiday in your mind to kick that feeling into action.  BUT, what you know and what you do are two entirely different things.

Crikey, I’m trained in this** but still I get elbow-deep in the day-to-day and forget this super-power…. We can be on holiday at the flip of a mental switch.

Ironically, it took a break away from the routine to remind me of this.  The science bods call this a ‘pattern interrupt’.

With two pre-school children our household runs on routine.  It’s a team effort to get us all up, fed, dressed and out the door each morning… and that works great for running a tight ship but it does run the risk of hours blending into days then into weeks before you take a breath and just be.  You know, like those moments on holiday when you have no plans, no agenda and can just enjoy a drink in the sunshine with your closest kin.  Bliss. 

So, here I am suggesting you create your own pattern interrupt, a mental mini-break.  Find a space where you can clear your calendar and just be.  (*Cocktails optional)

Does that feel uncomfortable?  Think, if you can, of being in holiday mode.  The time is carved out for respite and relaxation and to just enjoy the moment with no set plan.

The funny thing is, just like when on holiday you get that fresh perspective, by taking a mental mini-break you’re more likely to get the clarity and breakthroughs you’ve been over-looking.  By slowing down you can speed up when you get back to it.

Good old Einstein had it nailed: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Or maybe Madge put it best:  “If we took a holiday, took some time to celebratejust one day out of life – it would be, it would be so nice.”

Give it a try! 

Here’s to a sparkling week ahead, Emma  x 

**NLP Practitioner

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Well THAT was embarrassing. Did you see it?

06 19 2016

Let me just acknowledge the elephant in the room.  I disappeared for a while.

Maybe I owe you a little explanation.  I’ll come to that in a moment…

The reason for sharing with you is I believe I can shed some light on what NOT to do if this story is something you can relate to.

I’ll also share what happened when I took the leap – and it totally back-fired!  

So, back to the point, I disappeared.  I checked out for a bit.

If truth be told… I was hiding away from you guys.  You see, my passion is helping people to be their best selves, helping them to live their sparkle and yet, rewind a year, and I felt so far from that myself.

I felt a fraud.  I felt I needed to be the finished product to be able to help you.  I thought I needed to go away and fix parts of my life first.  It’s the perfectionist in me – I wanted to do this thing right.  If I was to help you then surely I’d need to be an expert in, and perfect in, all areas.

Writing this to you now I realise how ridiculous it sounds.  Yet still a part of me whispers “who am I to be able to help anyone else when there’s still things I’m working on?”  Old habits die hard, as they say.

But striving for utopia is perfectionism on over-drive.  It’s me procrastinating on the one thing I feel really called to do – to help, to write, to show up in ways that help you create your best life.

So, what not to do?

Don’t wait for the perfect time. There never is one.

Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to show up.  It won’t.

Don’t wait to feel like you’re ready/perfect. You won’t – nothing changes unless YOU change.

What’s standing between you and what you want?

I’ve spent the best part of my lifetime hiding and actively avoiding attention.  But deep down I know that standing between me and what I want (helping people on a bigger scale), I need to come out of hiding and push my comfort zone

So this week I decided to be brave.  I love to write to you but I know sometimes I hide behind the written word. Speaking up is my challenge.  I made a commitment to my awesome coach to “show my face”.  I gave my word that I’d share on Facebook Live.

This was majorly uncomfortable.  By showing up on Facebook Live I had to do the opposite of my default attention-avoidance, as if I was saying “look at me, I’m here and I have something to say.”  That is hugely out of my comfort zone.  It’s LIVE people – there’s zero room for perfectionism.

My insecurities were laid bare – insecure in the value of what I had to say, how I was saying it, how I was looking while saying it.  To me, I was raising my head over the parapet and opening myself up to being judged.  (That’s not to say that’s what I expected of the gorgeous peeps who might see it but they were the warning bells clanging by that ‘chimp brain’ of mine that’s trying to protect me.)

And I can’t tell you how (embarrassingly) long my finger hovered over the scary “Go Live” button.

BUT THEN… The utopia came to mind.  The life I imagine and the ‘me’ in it tapped me on the shoulder and, instead, I asked: “What would that Emma do?”  So, I pressed the button and I did it.

(Did you see?  It was a disaster.  The sound did not work!!!  I  chatted to myself for 8 minutes! EMBARRASSING. But I did it and I left it up there as proof, imperfect as it is!)

And here’s the lesson I’ve learned that I want to share.

I’ve come to learn that success is in the little victories.  I’d been focusing on the end game – striving for that finish line of success before I can help.

What’s courage anyway?  To me it’s letting your want/need for something be just a fraction bigger than your fear.  It’s a succession of moments like that, each moment getting you that little bit closer to your desired you and desired destination.

So, I ask again.  What stands between you and what you want? And what can you do to have courage (that’s just a tiny bit bigger than your fear) for one bold moment this week?

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What More Do You Want? 5 Tips For The Girl Who Has It "All"

06 09 2016

Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” – Plato

Appearances can be deceptive.  What looks glossy on the outside might be very different when you take a closer look.

Social media has got to be a prime example of this.  Someone’s newsfeed is a highlights reel of their life but maybe not the truest reflection.  You might be like me – posting pictures of the magical moments with your kiddiwinks when everyone is fed, happy and absorbed in play…. You’ll find the meltdowns and dinner-time battles on the virtual-cutting-room floor! 

Just think for a moment: maybe your life looks picture perfect to someone else?

How does that make you feel?  If you’re content and at a point of bliss, you’re likely to feel proud and grateful.  Positive.

If, on the other hand, you know that what your life looks like isn’t true of what it feels like, then you may feel a bit of discomfort.  Guilty?  A bit of a fraud?

Life can look good but you might still be craving something more.  And that’s ok.  It’s just a whisper from your intuition that is nudging you to explore it.  It’s like an itch you need to scratch.

You can have what many people desire and still want more.  Not in a greedy way, but in a way that means a part of you is looking to express itself, or to be more fulfilled in some way.

Feeling guilty about that or trying to ignore it isn’t the answer.  It’s there and it’s simply a message to do something about it. 

So, how can you dig a little deeper and find out what that niggle is? 

There’s no simple answer as it can take some exploration but, on some level, you already know the answer.  Here’s a few suggestions to help you listen in to that whisper:

  • Be quiet: Spend time in silence.  We’re so busy doing that often we lose connection to who we are being.  By slowing down you’re allowing the time and space to tune into yourself, your inner knowing.  Try guided meditation, or mindfulness or simply listening to some relaxing music with your attention on your breathing.
  • Free-flow: Flow of consciousness writing is a great way to connect to your intuition.  Grab a journal, a pen and some quiet space and just allow your pen to write whatever comes to mind.  No censoring just let it come out.  Don’t be tempted to second-guess or correct what you write, or even to question if it makes sense, just keep going.  Let it be an outlet for any of the thoughts in your head or any of the emotions you may be feeling.  Once you clear past the clutter you’ll then find that you get deeper-level insights.  By doing this regularly, you’ll get into the practice of connecting with your true self and you’ll be surprised at the insights you’ll get from this.
  • Get support: Like a blind spot when you’re driving, sometimes you just can’t see it yourself.  You may need someone to ask you the right questions to get to the answers that are already there.  Your thought patterns and beliefs are hard-wired and there to protect you.  Often a niggle can be a need for something to change so your brain goes into protection mode.  By having someone else guide you, you get a different perspective and can ‘see round’ old patterns of being and behaving that have kept you stuck.
  • Follow your yes: Any opportunity that comes your way, say yes (well, within reason!).  Don’t think and question – if it feels right, go for it.  Experiment, play, have fun.  Follow your bliss 
  • Accept the help: I created the FREE Clarity Session workshop to help feelings just like this.  If you haven’t yet accessed this mini workshop I gifted to you, you can access it here. 

I’d love to hear from you.  Share your behind-the-scenes story, the more ironic/funny, the better.  When have you posted a photo on social media when things weren’t quite so rosy in reality? 

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How to Impress... And Do Yourself Proud

05 19 2016

That question:  “So, tell me, what are your strengths?”

Why asking that one question can increase confidence, reduce stress and help you perform better.  Fact. 

Interviews, pitches, any experience when you’re sat across from an interview panel – not anyone’s favourite experience I’d imagine, especially when the stakes are high.  You do your homework on the company and the role/opportunity, you get your most stylish outfit ready and you prepare for those unknown interview questions.  One that often comes up is the standard “what are your strengths?”.

What would be your answer?

Maybe you have a stock response on this.  Maybe you (ahem) ‘cherry-pick’ the strengths you think the interviewer wants to hear to match you to the role or opportunity in question. 

If you did have a mental list of things pop to mind, great.  But stop a moment and ask ‘how true do those list of strengths feel to the real you?’.

You see, outside of situations like this, it’s not a question that is asked often.  And it’s even rarer that we ask if of ourselves.

But, knowing your true strengths, talents and value is golden and here’s why.

When you are clear on the value you offer you will perform better in any situation. 

Have you been in that situation where the pressure is on: a job interview, a first date with someone you really like, meeting someone influential in your industry.  You’re trying so hard to impress that your mind races with the right thing to say and when something comes out you think “why on earth did I say that?”  You’re in your head and all the time not bringing your best you to the table.

But studies have shown that when you know and affirm your strengths and the values most important to you ahead of any significant situation, your body chemistry works with you (rather than kicking in that fight/flight response that often sabotages your efforts) and so you are able to be more present.  More you.

Test it out.  Think of an event/situation coming up this week where you want to do yourself proud.  Decide to test it out yourself.

–       In advance, write down the attributes you’re most proud of e.g. I’m funny / patient / driven / intelligent.  They don’t have to be attributes relevant to the situation/event, just the ones that feel most authentically you.

–       Write down what people come to you for help/advice on.

–       Add to the list the things that you value you most about you/your life.  E.g. I most value my family / friends / my body / helping others.  Write next to each of these why they are important to you.  What emerges will be your core values.

–       Right before your event, read and feel the words you’ve written.  Remind yourself of you at your best.  Remind yourself of the values most important to you.  Watch your posture change.  See a different perspective on the event ahead. 

–       Then reflect.  Often stressful situations leave you lost for words, later finding the perfect thing to say but just that little bit too late.  When you’re at your best, you’ll find you do yourself proud more often.  Reflect on what went well. 

Give it a try and share your experience with us in the comments below.  Now, go forth and sparkle!

To your best week yet, Emma x

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Spend a Fiver, Change Your Life

03 24 2016

Have you ever been wandering around a clothes shop and spotted something for someone else, thinking “that is so her“?  Something about a simple item of clothing represents somebody’s style or character and what you believe about them.  

The same process happens on a deeper level in your head and about you.  What you believe about yourself will impact your choices – ultimately sending your life in one direction or another, often at 180° angle to each other.  

In my first Livestream (so please excuse the novice techie issues at start and end!), I share why this happens and how a £5 investment can be the first step towards a life-changer.

And then I’d love to hear from you.  What will you stick on YOUR mirror?  (Share a selfie on my Facebook page if you’re feeling brave!!)

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category: Design a business that sparkles, Design a life that sparkles, Uncategorized

Get your FREE 2015 goal planner

01 09 2015








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The Secret To Making Your Dreams Happen Faster... And How To Do It

10 09 2014

Have you ever been flicking through the pages or a magazine or browsing online and your eye has been drawn to a gorgeous image?  Attention grabbed, you’re practically drooling over what looks like your dream home, or an exotic location you want to visit, or the studio of someone running your dream business.  Does this sound familiar?

Next time that happens, when an image you see of someone else’s reality that evokes a yearning for your own dream, take a moment.  Think about what it is about that particular image that speaks to you and sparks a desire in you.  What does it tell you about what you dream of for your own life?  

Go a step further and clip the page out of the magazine or print a copy if it’s online.  It’s one for your vision board.

I’m a big fan of vision boards.  I started creating my own vision boards when I wanted to bring my new year goals to life.  Instead of just writing my goals down, I wanted to have a constant reminder of the things I wanted to create in my life and my first vision board was born.  I’ve been making them each year since.

It’s not just me.  Vision boards are proven to be effective in giving your brain auto-suggestions of what you want to achieve.  And here’s why.  There’s truth in the saying “a picture speaks a thousand words”.  As you’ll have experienced when that glossy magazine image gave you a pang of desire or ambition or, maybe, jealousy, we attach an emotional meaning to an image.  It’s not just an image of a beautiful living kitchen – it’s a suggestion of a calmer and more ‘together’ lifestyle.  It’s not just an image of a poolside cocktail – it’s a suggestion of wealth and success and living the high life.  And when you give your brain the suggestion of what you want, it obediently begins to work towards creating it.

Imagine you had a collection of images that stirred up some feeling of excitement and desire and hope and determination.  And imagine looking at those images as you begin your day – don’t you think you’d approach your day with a different mindset?  Would you act differently?  How likely will you be to make your goals happen if you had a tantalising visual reminder everyday?

There’s still time to check off some of your new year goals before the end of 2014.  

  • Bring your big goal to mind.  Let your mind wander and imagine yourself living it now.  And take note of how you feel in this scenario and what you see around.  If you could ‘bottle’ it, how would you describe what life is like in your dream life?  That is the feeling you want to capture on your vision board.
  • Start gathering images, words or quotes that represents that desire and captures the feeling, experiences and things that you yearn for.  At first, gather anything that speaks to you.
  • There is beauty in simplicity so, once you have your collection of words and images, be selective in choosing which ones you want to represent the ideal future you want to create.  Then get creative: paste your curation onto a foam board or pin board or large sheet of paper.
  • Here’s the last but most important step.  Place it somewhere you’ll see it daily and take time to look at it so that you connect with the feeling that your vision board represents.

Now I’d love to hear from you.  What’s the goal you would like to represent on your vision board?  Share the ‘story’ of your dream life with your goal achieved.

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2014 Was The Year That Was....?

09 18 2014

Fast forward the remaining 100-ish days of the year and think about how you’d like to reflect on 2014.  It was the year that was….?  Are you on track to making that happen?

With my vision for the year, so far I’ve won some and lost some.  I’ve pushed my comfort zone, I’ve faced some fears, I’ve made some leaps and taken risks… and I’ve also missed opportunities, played it safe and let anxiety get the better of me at times.  I’ve still got a way to go to hit my big goal for the year but I’m up for the challenge and I’ve got my game face on.

It would be so easy to give up, resign myself to failing or make excuses.  Yes, life has been super-busy with a newborn and a toddler to care for, income to create and, oh yes, making time to live life too but, if my turbulent twenties taught me anything, it’s that I’ve got a choice.  I go for it or I don’t. No knight in shining armour is going to rescue me.  It’s up to me.

There’s a but.  I can’t do it all on my own.  If I’ve learned anything the hard way this year it’s been that trying to do it all myself is a surefire way to a frazzled Emma.  So if I want to make 2014 the year that I achieved my goal, it’s time for me to politely ask for a hand.

Determination – check.  Support – check.

Over to you.  Tell me, 2014 was the year that you…..? And what’s the one thing you need to do to get a step closer?

Image source: {1

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